My dad was only joking when he told us all, the night before we left for the cottage last weekend, that a new law was passed requiring us all to wear helmets on seadoos.

“Ha ha ha, no way,” my husband said.

“Yeah, it’s true,” insisted my dad.

Of course, no one believed him, and my dad eventually caved. You do not have to wear a helmet when you’re on the seadoo. But… Maybe my dad should.

My family and I arrived late to the cottage the next day. My dad and brother-in-law had gone seadooing on our brand new seadoos, leaving my sister alone on the beach with her little ones, desperately in need of a break – the guys had been gone a long time already. We couldn’t wait for them to come back with the seadoos because, of course, we wanted to go for a ride asap!

We went inside the cottage and started unpacking our stuff while we waited for them to return. Finally, my father and brother in law glided in. As soon as he spotted them, my husband dove into our suitcase to fish out a bathing suit, whipped it on and dashed out the backdoor. Seadoo time!

My dad and brother in law had been gone for so long that I was a little concerned they wouldn’t let us go. I thought maybe they wouldn’t want us riding alone for the first time, or something. So when I saw my husband walking back up the hill toward the cottage shaking his head, I thought for sure we’d be in for an argument. Then I shifted my gaze to my father who was walking beside him…. What was that on his head? WHAT WAS THAT ON HIS HEAD?

It was a gash. A major, major gash on his head. “We’re going to the hospital,” my husband said.

My mom, who’d just arrived to the cottage that very minute (and who happens to hate seadoos) took him to the hospital immediately, of course, lecturing him all the way. Because, the thing is, the accident totally could have been avoided.

It turns out my dad and brother in law were out so long because they were LOST. They had gotten to a part of the lake that they were unfamiliar with. My dad was zooming along, not knowing that there was a rock in the area that most of the “locals” know about. Boats apparently hit it all the time, and it was even more hidden than usual because it’d been raining for the past couple of weeks. The water level was high, they were riding too close to shore and, again, they didn’t know the lake. My dad’s seadoo hit the hidden rock and went flying. He catapulted into the air and landed head first back on the rock. He and my brother in law went to a nearby cottage for help, got some towels, their bearings and directions home.

Needless to say, the seadoo’s totaled – which my mom’s actually kind of happy about because it reduces her seadoo anxiety by half. Thankfully, my dad’s head is not totaled! He got ten stitches and two cat scans, and everything’s fine. There was no concussion, either, despite the nosebleed… He just didn’t look too pretty for about a week.

So the moral of the story is, of course, KNOW YOUR LAKE! If you’re going to ride a seadoo, stay away from the shallow edges of the lake. And maybe even wear a helment… or not.

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